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Favorite Things: DeLuca’s owner and pizza chef Chuck DeLuca and his 1967 Corvette Stingray

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My big hobby is cars. I bought this car new right out of high school. Then I got married in 1972 and sold it because I didn’t have much money. About five years later, the guy wanted to sell it and I bought it back. I’ve kept it since. 

The guy called me and he was in Wisconsin. I didn’t have to drive there. He brought it in a trailer because he was trailering it to all these car shows. 

He wanted to sell me the trailer too, but I didn’t have any use for that. He only had it for five years, but luckily he didn’t destroy it. Most of these cars get misused. 

I take it out occasionally now. It is over 50 years old with 45,000 miles. Not bad for 50 years. I didn’t really take many trips with it, only short ones. 

I would like to take it on the Power Cruise one day. It is where classic cars, muscle cars and hot rods go on the road for 1,000 miles. 

A 327 base V8 is under the hood with 300 horsepower. It is a four-speed. I could’ve gone up to a big 427 big block, but it was more money. Looking back, I think it was only $100 extra. 

It was pretty fast for back in the day. But compared to today’s cars, it isn’t fast. 

It is a miracle I never crashed it or dented it. It does have some nicks where I had to have body work done. I’m used to driving a little too fast and I was blessed I didn’t get in a wreck. 

The maroon paint is all original. Same with the chrome. It is not mint because it is old. On fiberglass, the paint starts to crack so you won’t see too many of these with original paint.   

I do my own mechanical work on it. Lately, I’ve just changed the oil, transmission fluid and differential. The work has been about brakes a lot too since when a car sits, the brakes become an issue. 

I don’t really drive too fast. There was one time I got this thing up to 100 miles an hour, which was fast for back in the day. Nowadays that’s not fast at all. 

Not many people can say they still have a letter in the glovebox from the dealer congratulating you on your new Corvette. I can say that. 

(This interview was edited and condensed by Dennis Burck. If you have a recommendation for “Favorite Things,” please email dennis@lansingcitypulse.com.)

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